According to venture capitalists, Airbnb is worth $25 billion—more than major hotel chains Hilton ($24.1 billion market capitalization), Marriott ($18.7 billion), Starwood ($12.7), and Wyndham ($9 billion).
But that doesn’t mean hotels are scared of the new kid on the block. New research from Morgan Stanley shows the hotel industry remains healthy, buoyed by strong growth in revenue per available room and occupancy rates, two of the industry’s most important metrics. In outlining some of the challenges ahead for Airbnb, the firm also laid out a few reasons why hotels are unlikely to see a major impact in their businesses in the near future.
Hotel occupancy rates are strong, currently averaging 65% in the US, but Morgan Stanley says there’s still several years of growth ahead. In the US and Europe, rates are expected to rise to 67.6% for the full year of 2015, 68.6% in 2016, and 69.1% in 2017.
Occupancy rates are considered an indicator for hotels’ market performance. Historically, hotel stocks have fallen 12 to 15 months after occupancy has peaked, according to the report. The firm estimates the earliest that’ll happen will be 12 to 18 months from now. In the US, where the rates are lower than other developed markets, it has a slightly longer runway, about two years. Even then, it’ll take at least another year before their stocks show any decline, which should provide extra cushion against shareholder demands and concerns over Airbnb.
Airbnb often says that it does more than help people find houses to rent. Instead, it emphasizes the notion of sharing homes, aiming to foster a sense of belonging and community—things that aren’t necessarily important to people traveling on a company’s dime.
After surveying 4,000 travelers, Morgan Stanley found only 7% of Airbnb users booked one-night stays. In contrast, overnight guests make up 25% of hotels’ business. That’s not to say people aren’t choosing Airbnb over traditional accommodations, but it suggests corporate travelers—who are more likely to book just one night—are sticking to hotels, says the firm.